The combination of no snow cover and numbing subzero has dropped the frost down 16 inches deep. That basically turns the ground to stone-like hardness, making it necessary to heat a site for 24 hours prior to excavation.
Today’s forecast for snow has him hopeful.
“I still wish we would get a good foot of snow. Not only would it keep the frost from going down further, it would maybe take some out,” he said.
The threat of a blizzard has closed Mankato area schools today. That forecast could well bring the snow Terry is hoping for.
Bitter cold makes for tough working conditions at a cemetery. Machinery has to be kept running longer to keep it starting reliably, and the frozen ground means three hours of prep and 24 hours of heating added to the normal excavation work load.
“But I will say the auger we purchased a few years ago is great. The carbide blades will go through approximately one inch of frost per minute,” he explained.